Studies show that one in four preschool-age children experience a traumatic event by the start of kindergarten. Because so many of these children respond to traumatic stress by acting out, they prove a challenge to teachers and caregivers, who find that traditional methods of, like scolding them or putting them in a time-out, don’t work. In fact, these methods often makes things worse, leading to suspension or expulsion.
…In Head Start Trauma Smart, safety comes first. The first thing you have to do is make them feel safe. And if you’re not making them feel safe, they are not going to learn or improve. So, most of how we teach starts with complete social-emotional. I am here. I will keep you safe. Help me keep it that way.
In training programs held year-round, Head Start Trauma Smart teachers learn to validate extreme emotions using calm and quiet voices. They are also armed with practical and cognitive tools to help kids soothe themselves. In our room, the safe spot is in a really quiet corner, and it’s filled with kind of pillows and blankets. And then we have a calm down box. There are several sensory things that they can play with. We have squishy balls. We have sunglasses. All of the methods are aimed at quieting a tidal wave of emotions that often overwhelms these kids…and it’s not just teachers and therapists who practice these techniques. Bus drivers, cooks, everyone who is in the life of that child.
Some of the Head Start Trauma Smart results are harder to measure. But to those who care for these children, they are impossible to miss.
Earlier today, I served as the “young woman’s voice” in a panel of local experts at a Girl Scouts speaking event. One question for the panel was something to the effect of, "Should parents read their daughter’s texts or monitor her online activity for bad language and inappropriate content?"
I was surprised when the first panelist answered the question as if it were about cyberbullying. The adult audience nodded sagely as she spoke about the importance of protecting children online.
I reached for the microphone next. I said, “As far as reading your child’s texts or logging into their social media profiles, I would say 99.9% of the time, do not do that.”
Looks of total shock answered me. I actually saw heads jerk back in surprise. Even some of my fellow panelists blinked.
Everyone stared as I explained that going behind a child’s back in such a way severs the bond of trust with the parent. When I said, “This is the most effective way to ensure that your child never tells you anything,” it was like I’d delivered a revelation.
It’s easy to talk about the disconnect between the old and the young, but I don’t think I’d ever been so slapped in the face by the reality of it. It was clear that for most of the parents I spoke to, the idea of such actions as a violation had never occurred to them at all.
It alarms me how quickly adults forget that children are people.
Apparently people are rediscovering this post somehow and I think that’s pretty cool! Having experienced similar violations of trust in my youth, this is an important issue to me, so I want to add my personal story:
Around age 13, I tried to express to my mother that I thought I might have clinical depression, and she snapped at me “not to joke about things like that.” I stopped telling my mother when I felt depressed.
Around age 15, I caught my mother reading my diary. She confessed that any time she saw me write in my diary, she would sneak into my room and read it, because I only wrote when I was upset. I stopped keeping a diary.
Around age 18, I had an emotional breakdown while on vacation because I didn’t want to go to college. I ended up seeing a therapist for - surprise surprise - depression.
Around age 21, I spoke on this panel with my mother in the audience, and afterwards I mentioned the diary incident to her with respect to this particular Q&A. Her eyes welled up, and she said, “You know I read those because I was worried you were depressed and going to hurt yourself, right?”
TL;DR: When you invade your child’s privacy, you communicate three things:
- You do not respect their rights as an individual.
- You do not trust them to navigate problems or seek help on their own.
- You probably haven’t been listening to them.
Information about almost every issue that you think you have to snoop for can probably be obtained by communicating with and listening to your child.
"Sunset on Rose’s Hill"
7.5 in. x 9.5 in.
Watercolor, Gouache, and Ink
One of three pieces I painted for the Steven Universe | Adventure Time show at Gallery Nucleus.
"Sunset on Rose’s Hill" focuses on a tradition that Rose Quartz began and that Steven has now inherited and continues. The familial love he shares both with the Gems and with his dad brings both parties together as well, bonding over their shared love for both Steven and his mother. The piece also hints at Rose’s love for not just the Gems and Greg but also for all of Beach City.
none of the main characters in the book I’m currently reading are cishets omg I am so happy
Oooh. What ‘cha readin?I was readingLove in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block. It’s the end of the world and literally only the queer kids survived. *cackles* It’s a really strange book but I’m just so happy about the characters.
Though Zevran had made his decision to leave, it was several hours before he felt like leaving his tent. He had to be sure the others wouldn’t notice, especially not Albine. Knowing her, she would likely think he was out to betray her. Which, of course, meant she would try to kill him. Unlike before, though, he had no intention of dying. As he peered outside the tent again, he could finally see the sun in its full glory; somehow, it was still able to warm his face. He cast his gaze to the campfire one more time, where he could see that Albine was now alone. At about the same time, her own eyes were turned toward his tent.
He pulled his head back in before she could see his face. Before he lost sight of her, though, he could vaguely remember seeing a corner of her lips turned up in one of those little smiles she so often wore when he was near. He cursed under his breath, berating himself for letting her see him. No matter how he tried to dodge regret this morning, it seemed to find him at every junction.
This only meant he could waste no more time. He would have to leave his tent behind to throw the others off his trail, taking with him only his pack and a sack of coin. Denerim was just down the road - he could make it there by the evening and catch a ferry. Where to, though? He wanted to avoid Tevinter, for obvious reasons. Orlais, perhaps? He never did like the pompousness of the locals. The Free Marches was close enough, but it was also even closer to Antiva and the danger of the Crows finding him. This thought only made him miss his homeland even more bitterly.
From under his pelts, he retrieved his pack. Though it was a bit weather-beaten, the leather had stood the test of time. A few untied knots, and he was able to upend his belongings onto the pelts.
His dragon scale armor gleamed blood red under the dim light in the tent - it was, admittedly, still a handsome piece of work. Along with it came his prized leather boots, still smelling as fresh as the day he received them, but with that smell came a sense of emptiness he had not felt before, worsened by the sight and touch of the soft Dalish gloves she had given him. He could only begin to wonder why she had given him these things, even mildly cursing himself for attaching such significance to them. Drawing a shaky breath, he busied himself organizing his possessions and putting on his armor. The gloves and the boots felt just as soft and warm as before, but there was still something off about them. There was familiarity, but also a feeling as if they had been replaced with counterfeits. With a final, deep sigh, he crawled under the back edge of the tent and began to make his way back toward the path to the road.
Thankfully, nobody seemed to have noticed his departure. Even so, he could not go with his head held high; he was leaving more for their sake than for his own. Even with his boots on, there was little spring in his step. It had instead become a trudge through the drying mud, exacerbated by the last night’s sleeplessness. Hopefully, he could get lost in the city and have enough drinks to put him to sleep and a bed to rest his head in until the inevitable hangover.
No sooner did he get out of sight of the camp than he felt the first drops of rain falling on his head. No longer able to keep his composure, he let out a rather loud string of colorful Antivan words and sank down under a nearby tree as the rain grew stronger. “Andraste’s mercy, I’m a fool.”
"Damn right, you’re a fool!" came the roar of a familiar dwarven voice.
Oghren. What in the Maker’s name could he possibly want? Zevran halfheartedly glanced around the tree to see the red-headed drunkard staring him in the face. “…Hello, Oghren.”
"Zervin! My good old drinking buddy!" the dwarf burst out, before immediately looking confused. "Wait…Was it Zerv…Zor…Zarn?"
"…It is Zevran," said the elf, the harsh edge returning to his voice, though he knew the stout warrior hardly deserved it. He hardly deserved much of anything. It sounded rather familiar.
"Whatever!" Oghren grunted, pulling out his flask. "What are you doin’ out here lettin’ the sky piss on you?" He cut himself off with the usual punctuation of a drink. "You even look like you’ve been pissed on."
He had to give the dwarf credit - it was a rather apt metaphor for how he felt. “…Yes, I suppose you could say that.” Curiously, a part of him actually felt more comfortable, even if just by a margin, speaking to Oghren than anyone else at the moment. “…I…have a question, if I might trouble you.”
"Depends," said the dwarf, "If you wanna know about turning people into bloody chunks, I’m your guy. Much of anything else…I refuse to make any promises."
"…Actually…" said Zevran, his voice rather flat with humorlessness. "Before I ask that question, I’ll ask you one that may be a bit more within your field of awareness. What are /you/ doing here?" He only halfway cared about the answer, as most of his senses were too preoccupied with the cold.
"Now that I can answer," Oghren replied. "The Warden sent me and Wynne into the city to get some stuff to make potions. We’re gonna need ‘em, what with the Darkspawn crawling up our sod-chutes and whatnot. She’ll be catching up any time now."
So Oghren was not alone. The assassin had braced himself the moment he heard Wynne’s name. “Ah, I see. Now then, this other question is a matter of your personal experience.” He left a long pause to gather his thoughts. “…You were married to the late Branka, yes—please, Oghren, this is important, and no, it doesn’t have anything directly to do with you or her.” He spoke quickly as soon as he saw the dwarf take a breath to cut him off the moment he mentioned Branka.
Oghren’s response was a long chug of his swill and a belch loud enough to knock water from the leaves above onto Zevran’s head. “Alright, alright, fine. Make it quick.”
Zevran let out a harsh gasp as the icy water hit him, but sighed and resigned to letting it run down his face. “…Did the two of you…fancy each other?”
This question only elicited a long, protracted stare from the dwarf. “It was…eh…complicated. We didn’t exactly get married because we liked each other. Now, Oghren knows a pretty thing when he sees her…Branka was about as pretty as a nug’s back end. Don’t get me wrong, she was an inferno in the sheets…but let me give you some advice, salroka. Don’t put your sword in a bent sheath.”
As to how this advice - which, it was worth noting, he already was well aware of - was supposed to help him now, he would never know. “And what about Branka? What did she think of you?”
"Complete embarrassment," Oghren grumbled. "Said I was the second most useless thing in the house."
Zevran found himself wincing. “I…understand completely.” In the strangest view of the bright side, he quietly thanked the Maker that he was at least somewhat more useful than Oghren in that first respect.
There was a look in Oghren’s eyes as if his marinated brain had finally caught fire. “Hey, wait a minute…The Warden’s not with you.”
"How very observant of you." The dryness of the assassin’s tone might have just been enough to start a fire of its own. "You have such sharp eyes. It’s a wonder the Warden hasn’t just given you a bow and let you take my place."
"Ha!" the dwarf laughed, gruffly. "It’s just because she likes you more."
Zevran’s shoulders sank, but he continued to listen to Oghren’s inebriated rumblings. “Does she now?”
"Oh yeah," said Oghren, propping himself up against the same tree. "Every time you get a hangnail, we come to a thundering halt."
This left the elf more perplexed than ever. It was true, she gave much attention to healing his injuries, even if minor. It made no sense for him to be her first priority. “Mmm…yes, I see what you mean.”
"Then why are you so soggy about it?" Oghren asked, his head tilting. "You don’t know how lucky you are to have a woman like that."
Zevran didn’t feel so lucky at the moment; he was wet and freezing. “You…wouldn’t understand—”
"What I understand," the dwarf boomed over the top of Zevran’s protests, "is that that girl is wild about you. She’s put her pretty ass on the line for you more than once."
"…I know," Zevran said; he knew the fact all too well, and he could hold his words in no more. "I…did something cruel to her, Oghren."
Almost immediately, Oghren was visibly rolling his eyes. “Oooh. Now I know what’s goin’ on.”
"What IS going on?" asked a third voice; Wynne had returned with a pouch full of herbs. Almost immediately, she ran to Zevran’s side to shield him from the rain. "Zevran! Maker’s breath, boy, you’re going to catch cold!"
He was already beginning to feel the tightness in his chest. “W-wynne…” The moment she approached, he looked away from her. “…I’m sure you heard us at some point…there’s no point in me staying silent anymore.”
The corners of Wynne’s eyes pressed together, and a small frown appeared on her lips. “Then go ahead. Tell me what’s on your mind. It’s not good to keep it bottled up.”
The assassin looked up, but hardly allowed his eyes to meet hers; what would the senior mage do on learning of what he had done? “…Last night…she came to me. She wanted to engage in our…usual pastime. I did not feel the desire. She apologized, but she would not leave. I…” His head dropped again, and his shoulders were visibly shaking. “I lost my temper and shouted at her…and all she did was kept apologizing…but I would not listen. I cast her out of my tent.” He clenched his hands into fists. “I’ve been unable to forgive myself…and I cannot see how she would want to forgive me.”
Wynne’s frown deepened, and she rested a hand on his trembling shoulder. “Is that why you wanted to leave?”
He gave a weak nod. “I…could not see a reason to remain. When I saw her in Alistair’s arms, I…” The memory cut off his words.
"Oh Zevran…" said the mage, coming around to face him. "They were talking about /you./" She touched his other shoulder. "All she kept talking about was how she hoped you would be alright."
His eyes grew wide and his mouth grew bitterly dry. Even when she was in Alistair’s arms, her first thoughts had been of him. He truly did not deserve her. “…Why? Why does she give so much of herself for me?”
"I tried to warn her against it, but she would not listen," said Wynne, but her tone was surprisingly hopeful. "She grew closer to you despite warnings we had all given her." She shifted her position just a bit to take the strain off one of her legs. "…You’re very special to her."
Hearing this brought a heat to Zevran’s cheeks. The last thing he thought anyone would consider him was special, at least in this aspect. Even now, he could not deny that she was likewise special to him, but he still would not say it out loud.
"What did I tell ya?!" Oghren cut in. "The girl is absolutely stone-blind mad for you."
Zevran was still not speaking. There was a rumble in his belly that he wasn’t sure was hunger or anxiety. “I…I really do not know what to say.”
"Well, I /can/ promise you this," said Wynne, "Even if you manage to get all the way across Thedas, you’re still never going to be able to leave her behind. You’re always going to remember her, and you’re going to miss her terribly."
Before she had finished speaking, he had risen to his feet. “Then let us return. I shall see if what you tell me is true.” Stretching his arms, he began the trek back to camp; though short, it felt much longer under the mud and rain. “Mmm…I still do not know how willing she is to forgive me.”
"Why not ask her yourself?"
This voice did not belong to Oghren or Wynne. The sound of it instantly made his heart start pounding, and his eyes actively avoided looking for its source. Yet, his ears could not ignore her words. His skin could not wash away its memory of her delicate, attentive touch. Her soft breaths had long since etched their way into his neck. At last, he forced himself to raise his eyes.
Albine, Alistair and Leliana were standing a few feet away, and the mage’s lips bore a soft, reassuring smile. “Hey there.” Pulling her cloak closer to herself, she ran through the rain to approach him. “I was scared we’d miss you.”
"…Not as much as I’d miss you," Zevran confessed, allowing himself to come just within arm’s reach of her and take her hand. "…My Warden, I…" The eyes of the others felt unnervingly prying all of a sudden. "…I have much to speak of with you back at camp, but…" He clasped his other hand over hers. "Most importantly…I wish to ask you to forgive me for…last night." His voice had dropped to a barely audible pitch.
She took the grip of his hands as an opportunity to pull him close. “It’s not your fault…I was the one who asked. I…kind of deserved it for being so insensitive.”
"No," he declared, shaking his head and moving his hands to rest on her shoulders. "You don’t deserve any of this. You…deserve more than I can give." His pangs of guilt, despite her reassurance, were resurfacing. "I worry that I may not be of much use to you, beyond the pleasures of senses."
The Warden immediately became more protective in holding him. “Oh, Zev…Maker, no.” She took him under her cloak just the same way Wynne had done, but offered even more of it to shelter him. “The things you’ve given me…they can’t be counted in coin and bodies.” With a kiss to the top of his head, she hugged him closer. “I feel…I feel /free/ because of you. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed life so much as I have since you tried to kill me.”
The redness in his cheeks was now spreading to his whole face. Freedom and happiness - somehow, without having known them himself, he had helped the young Warden to find them for herself. In turn, all this time, she had been offering him the same. Now, with the Crows off his heels, he too was free. They had given one another an equal exchange, so there was no longer a debt to be paid, but he still felt as though their arrangement was incomplete somehow.
The weight of guilt, though, had been lifted so far off his shoulders he felt as if he might sprout wings and fly off. Yet, there was still a nagging uncertainty at the back of his neck; now that the past had been dealt with, the only question left was what lay ahead.
What did it all mean to him? The Crows had taught him that all of this was a dangerous illusion and yet, here he was, in her arms, with a hot blush on his face and a belly full of Antivan swamp moths. The cold had left him shivering terribly with a desperate longing for Albine’s sturdy tent. He desired most of all now to be buried below the pelts with her, their bodies pressed together and guarding one another from the chill.
How he loathed the rain. Perhaps, if she derived such pleasure from caring for him, he could indulge her just a bit, if only to lighten the mood. “Maker’s breath, this chill…I fear it may be catching up with me…we ought to return to camp before I truly become deathly ill.” As if summoned by his prediction, he was caught up by a sudden sneeze that barely gave him enough time to turn away from Albine. “Oh dear…it may already be too late.” As if caught in a swoon, he slumped against her and let his legs appear to give way. As if on cue, his stomach growled a plea for something more than two meager cups of stew. “Ah, and I’m so very hungry as well…I fear I shall wither away.”
Albine smiled. She knew he was exaggerating just a bit, but she didn’t mind. “Alright, let’s go. Honestly I’m thinking about getting back to Eamon’s estate by this evening. I’m expecting to be ready for the Landsmeet by tomorrow night. It starts the next morning after that.”
Eamon’s estate. Zevran barely knew the man himself, but he so far only associated the palace with luxurious feather beds, warm linens, and fire safe from the rain. Now that he thought about it, there was perhaps the added benefit of having his boots properly cleaned. This mud was surely doing no good to them. “Yes, good idea. I will always be happy to take advantage of a suite fit for a lord. Really, I’d take the stables Alistair slept in as a child over this bloody rain any day…even with all their dung.”
The face Alistair made bore a passing comparison to a prune. “Maybe we should let you sleep in the stables.”
Mockingly, the assassin grabbed at his chest as if he had been attacked. “Oh, have mercy, I beg you. Anywhere but those awful stables. I shall positively die of the smell.”
The Warden laughed and gave his hand a squeeze.
He did not pull his hand away as before, nor did he return her gesture. All he did was let his hand remain in hers with a firm yet passive grip, letting the pads of his palm press against hers and take in their softness. There were no words he could say to frame the strange emotions now threatening to burst forth from him. A film of serenity had built over him like the gossamer surface of a bubble. As far against his instincts as it was, he wanted to hold on to it, no matter how ephemeral. Yet, he still did not know how far to reach for it. The muscles of his arm tensed just so, making his hand curl slightly and tighten its grip by a barely detectable degree. With a soft sigh, he turned back on the road toward the camp.
what’s a good music for when you have brain problems and you need to calm down a bit
anything that makes you feel safe would be appreciated
- blackbird cover by sara mclachlan
- httyd soundtrack especially forbidden friendship and the flying themes (also: flying with mother. ALSO: dancing and the dreaming)
- several florence + the machine songs tho many of them are creepy
- stina nordenstam - butterfly (VIBRATES FROM TRANS FEELINGS)
- VIENNA TENG OH MY GOSH in particular look away, level up, the tower, city hall, nvm just all her stuff ALL HER STUFF IS SO GOOD FOR CALMING ME
- erin mccarley - pony
- kt tunstall has a lot of good moody songs that make me calm, i love “girl and the ghost” in particular.
- angel haze also calms me down but a lot of her stuff is very intensely dark and disturbing so ymmv. planes fly, her cover of counting stars, and battle cry are good tho.
- any nostalgia-y songs, viva la vida, ace of base’s entire discography, the entire shrek soundtrack, anything you have fun memories attached to! (musicals also good!!)
i also like loud singy songs! that i can sing along to to distract myself! this isnt always an option tho so i will also choose songs with complicated melodies for me to get caught up in. FOR LOUD SINGY SONGS THO
- i get knocked down (cover by tubthumping)
- CALL ME MAYBE various covers. also the rest of her album is super cute and fun
- anything by fall out boy
- stereo swing - stepping out
- taylor swift’s entire discography
- the hush sound - honey, molasses, pretty down to your bones, don’t wake me up. they’re all very fun and jazzy
Idk what kind of tunes in particular you are looking for? and I don’t really have anxiety so this may be off, but my taste does tend to lean towards v calming/soothing music so:
Laura Veirs (pretty much all her stuff is really good and sweet and gentle but July Flame is one of my faves.)
I’m also a super big fan of Regina Spektor, I’ve seen conflicting opinions on some of her songs but they always help make me feel calm inside.
In general, folk music is just really good for songs that are calming and soothing and have a good melody, ESPECIALLY female folk artists, look out for those there are a lot of really good ones that I can’t begin to list them all. I can point you to my Pandora station tho, where I’ve been gathering good artists/songs as seeds for a couple years now and have a decent enough collection at this point—pretty much everything is in that vein of soft and calming and melodic. Progressive soft rock too, like Sigur Ros, is big on the ~musical nuance~ which goes completely over my head, but as a whole genre it tends to be very slow and hypnotic generally.
I hope that helps??
"The Person You Are Together"
13.5 in. x 10.5 in.
Watercolor and Gouache
The first of three pieces I painted for the Steven Universe | Adventure Time show at Gallery Nucleus.
"The Person You Are Together" depicts my favorite relationship in the series to explore, Amethyst and Pearl’s. I love Opal as a character, she is gorgeous, powerful, and still cares greatly for Steven. But I also love that she comes from an amalgam of Pearl and Amethyst, reflecting how something so beautiful can come from their bond. But, this can only happen once they are able to stop fighting and see past each other’s differences, coming together in a harmonious, yet delicate, balance.
What do these artists all have in common? You can find interviews with them in my new book Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives! Co-edited by Jessica Glennon-Zukoff and Terra Mikalson, this book is the first of it’s kind, a unique collection of interviews with political writers and artists such as Janet Mock, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Magnoliah Black (1st photo), Kiam Marcelo Junio (2nd photo), Lovemme Corazón, (3rd photo), Ryka Aoki, Nick Mwaluko, Fabian Romero, Van Binfa, Micia Mosely, Miss Persia, Daddie$ Pla$tik and more. Available for pre-order now!
A HUMAN BEING
FILLED WITH LOVE
FILLED WITH PRIDE
FILLED WITH DIGNITY
I CAME TODAY
TO TELL MY STORY
AND SHARE THESE GIFTS
I WILL RISE!
WHEN OTHERS FALL
I WILL HELP THEM UP
FOR I AM A HUMAN BEING
FILLED WITH LOVE
FILLED WITH PRIDE
FILLED WITH DIGNITY
WHEN OTHERS SAY I CAN’T
I WILL SAY I CAN.
YES I CAN.
YES I CAN.
- Jared M., Andy’s Summer Playhouse, ‘09, a pre-show psych-up.
Here’s the thing. I LOVE comedy. I think it’s an incredible art form that requires an insane amount of intelligence. Everyone who’s funny isn’t a comedian. Let’s remember that. But I’m just really sick of “let’s dress up like a fat loud sassy black woman who sleeps around a lot” being lauded as “comedy”. It’s not funny and really requires NO TALENT. Like…none at all. I have yet to hear one joke from a black man in a dress that hasn’t already come from a racist’s mouth. Let’s also not ignore how gross it is to continuously talk trash about women’s bodies, how they dress, how they speak and/or who they choose to sleep with. EW. And let’s also not forget that women of ALL BACKGROUNDS do the saaaaame shit and don’t get the same type of backlash that black women do. Hell, some guy just wrote an open letter to Nicki Minaj for showing her ass, but didn’t waste any breath on white female celebs who’ve done the same thing. And he sure as hell didn’t write an open letter to any male artists who rap about drugging girls and all other types of problematic mess.
Don’t for one second fool yourself into thinking that by looking down your nose at other black people that you’re somehow better and therefore part of the solution and not the problem. Cause you’re not. And I say this as someone who grew up thinking that acting and speaking a certain way made me a “good black person”. And someone had to check me on that mess, and I’m so so glad they did. Don’t drink that kool-aid folks. Please don’t. At the end of the day, everyone has the right to do whatever they want, as long as it’s not hurting themselves or anyone else.
The minute you decide that you aren’t one of “THOSE black people” and think that black people need to change their behavior so they aren’t a negative reflection on you….YOU BECOME PART OF THE PROBLEM. You’re essentially saying it’s OK to see us as a monolith! And it’s just not ok. I want everyone to live happy and productive lives and treat everyone with love and respect. But the people who don’t do those things are not a negative reflection on me, because I am only responsible for MYSELF. I want to be seen as an individual and treated with the respect I deserve as an individual. So please do me that honor and I’ll do the same for you.
He is taking a course on Marxist ideology.
He says, “The only real solution is to smash the system and start again.”
His thumb is caressing the most bourgeois copy of the communist manifesto that I have ever seen,
He bought it at Barnes and Noble for twenty-nine U.S. American dollars and ninety-nine cents,
Its hard cover shows a dark man with a scarved face
Waving a gigantic red flag against a fictional smoky background.
The matte finish is fucking gorgeous.
He wants to be congratulated for paying Harvard sixty thousand dollars
To teach him that the system is unfair.
He pulls his iPhone from his imported Marino wool jacket, and leaves.
What people can’t possibly tell from the footage on TV
Is that the water cannon feels like getting whipped with a burning switch.
Where I come from, they fill it with sewer water and hope that they get you in the face with your mouth open
So that the hepatitis will keep you in bed for the next protest.
What you can’t tell from Harvard square,
Is that when the tear gas bursts from nowhere to everywhere all at once,
It scrapes your insides like barbed wire, sawing at your lungs.
Tear gas is such a benign term for it,
If you have never breathed it in you would think it was a nostalgic experience.
What you can’t learn at Barnes and Noble,
Is that when they rush you, survival is to run,
I am never as fast as when the police are chasing me.
I know what happens to women in the holding cells down there and yet…
We still do it.
I inherited my communist manifesto,
It has no cover—
Because my mother ripped it off when she hid it in the dust jacket of “Don Quixote”
The day before the soldiers destroyed her apartment,
Looking for subversive propaganda.
She burned the cover, could not bring herself to burn the pages,
Hoped to God the soldiers couldn’t read,
They never found it.
So she was not killed for it, but her body bore the scars of the torture chamber,
For wanting her children to have a better life than she did,
Don’t talk to me about revolution.
I know what the price of smashing the system really is, my people already tried that.
The price of uprise is paid in blood,
And not Harvard blood.
The blood that ran through the streets of Santiago,
The blood thrown alive from Argentine helicopters into the Atlantic.
It is easy to say “revolution” from the comfort of a New England library.
It is easy to offer flesh to the cause,
When it is not yours to give.
Catalina Ferro, “Manifesto” (via dialecticsof)
I feel like people do need to remember that there is a very real, very painful, very human element to the word “revolution”.